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UER Mobile > US: Pacific Southwest > Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard (Viewed 26242 times)

post by Agent Case   |  | 
Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
< on 3/29/2016 5:54 PM >

Hello, this is my first post here on UER. It seems to be the best site, and I figured I would finally share after years of URBEX on my own. The first place I would like to share, and one that I am most proud of, is Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard. I mention where these pictures come from simply because it's so iconic to the city yet rather difficult to gain access to completely. These pictures I took back in 2013, and some of them will be popping up on google earth this month, also. Many of these buildings are quite dangerous to enter due to radioactive and toxic contamination that is still present. The site is broken into parcels from A-E, with A being largely turned over and E still having some bad radiological and toxic contamination. While it can be extremely low for skin dose exposure, the chance for inhalation contamination is possible, so if you do go and enter buildings, make sure you bring an organic-rated particulate mask. Watch out for the roving guards! I hope you enjoy!


1. The old crow's nest used for measuring EMF flux from the radar testing building across the alley.



2. The fire department building, which was co-located with the police building.



3. One of the pump houses in between the two graving docks. There is a pipe below this pump house that is sealed and still contains radioactive byproducts from the operation Crossroads vessels that were decontaminated (or they attempted to decontaminate) here.



4. The inside of an old machinery factory floor.



5. A machining shop, which still had contaminated metal turnings on the ground and was fenced off.



6. Looking from the opposite side of the graving dock at the pump house in #3 above.



7. This is a powerful one. This is where most of the NRDL (Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, some internal documents say "Development" instead of defense) buildings were located. They are torn down now, but that demolition loosed many toxic and possibly contaminated particles into the ground. Unfortunately I did not have proper clothing nor my ion chamber and dosimeter to go test, or I would have seen just how high above background radiation it is there.



8. The big blue factory, viewable from 101. This area is very tightly controlled now due to excavation around it, falling glass, and the fact there are floors giving way. A few old pictures by the company that is doing the remediation, tetra tek, show what is inside, which are still some machine components and other radio equipment.



9. Boilermaker Local 6 School - where the shipbuilders trained their own.



10. This was over near the sub pens at the north part of the base. From what I can tell, this company worked with insulation. I'm guessing it was one of the places rented out when the base largely ceased ship work.



11. The gun mole pier crane. This monstrous crane which might still be rated as the strongest in the world, used to lift battleship turrets and even moire amazingly, "Catch" polaris missiles in flight so they could have their engines examined. They also decontaminated a B-17 on this pier, along with other pieces of equipment during the golden age of atomic development. It is easily visible from most places in the bay area.



12. The North side of the enlisted barracks looking east. What it is looking over is a huge toxic dump, where they buried not only chemicals but radium paint and equipment, and potentially items from contaminated vessels.



13. This is why I love urbex - the thought of how busy and full this area must have been just makes the imagine run wild. This is the main line in the middle of the base, behind one of the two huge factory floors, where metal deposits were collected to be melted down and re-used, or disposed of.



14. This is the front side of the NRDL health physics building, in proximity to the Blue Factory. I recently remember seeing this building in a movie, although I can't remember what it was.


15. The side of the NRDL health physics laboratory, showing the caches of toxic or potentially contaminated earth. The blue stuff on the soil is a rubbery substance that keeps it from blowing away in the wind. There are (or were, then) huge piles of this soil over on parcel E, just east of the enlisted barracks.



16. You'll see this everywhere. This is no joke, especially on the barges that are parked behind a few of these. Wear your mask!



17. "Room 25" which actually shows up on some maps and documents. I took this picture by holding the camera up over a gap in the wall, and was pretty surprised at how well it came out.



18. A large reclamation pit they had scooped out. The dirt pile was right behind me. I was amused at the chair sitting there on the precipice. You could find piles of embedded pipes all around, where fluids and gases had flowed back and forth across the base, some toxic, some benign.



19. Those seals were buttheads and wouldn't hold still. I had to take HDR shots here due to the ridiculous contrast in the area, and the fact I had to move fairly fast. This area is called the "metal reef" area and it is right near their main pier. Seals love this area since there is no one around to bother them. Right near this point is a boat someone randomly beached, and right behind it are the piles of toxic sand. I wonder if any of these seals are facing health problems from all the stuff in the water?



20. An old battery substation that was in between the graving docks. You can see some of the electrical machinery submerged in the water of the bay that has flooded in.



21. Barrels of uncategorized waste, most of them water mixed with other chemicals. That area right behind the barrels was a processing facility for chemicals such as mercury and lead, so use your imagination!



22. This is the enlisted barracks. The tragedy of this is that it is located right next to what is probably the most toxic location on the base. It's a closed off area, where they used to simply dump everything. It has a nice view of the (formerly) candlestick point, but it is simply too dangerous to develop or use.




I hope that you have enjoyed the trip. I did, as it was the first time I started photographing my trips. I have quite a few more photos from this, but they are inaccessible at home right now. I have a few more trips that warrant photo posts, and I will get to them later. I hope that you enjoy, and please let me know via message (or post!) if I did anything incorrect or a violation of the rules in the rookie documentation in this first post (such as setting it publically viewable - since I made it that way on flickr and some of these photos are on google earth at the end of the month, I figured that was best!)


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post by Agent Case   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 1 on 3/29/2016 5:56 PM >

I would like to reiterate: The only reason this is named is because this location is so plainly visible from 101, and there is no other crane like it in the world. It's also iconic to San Francisco, and I think that people being allowed to look up the volumes of history regarding this location is rather important, as it relates directly to the nuclear weapons era.


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post by Two408wonderers   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 2 on 3/29/2016 6:19 PM >

Hi and welcome. Great first post. I was amazed to see how much history you did on this place. You did document this really well as well. Would have been pretty neat had you made it into several those warehouses though LOL. Aside from that welcome and great job


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post by romainpp   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 3 on 3/29/2016 6:52 PM >

Great pictures, I really love this place! I've always explored it at night, especially because of the roving guards that you mentioned, it's easier to see them and hide from them in the dark. I don't know how much we're actually risking if caught there.


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post by relik   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 4 on 3/29/2016 8:26 PM >

Welcome! Thanks for the trip. This is quite the interesting location, rich with history! I might have to stop here during my trip to the area!


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post by Evilbunny   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 5 on 3/29/2016 9:55 PM >

Think I may make a trip and borrow a gieger counter


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post by SurlySilverback   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 6 on 3/29/2016 11:23 PM >

Reckless personal endangerment while taking comprehensive and detailed photos of a location that is difficult to access, and likely to result in incarceration if not radiation poisoning.

I see great things in your future. Awesome fucking post.

Welcome to UER.


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post by Evilbunny   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 7 on 3/30/2016 12:57 AM >

Posted by SurlySilverback
Reckless personal endangerment while taking comprehensive and detailed photos of a location that is difficult to access, and likely to result in incarceration if not radiation poisoning.

I see great things in your future. Awesome fucking post.

Welcome to UER.


Must be fun at parties.

[last edit 3/30/2016 12:57 AM by Evilbunny - edited 1 times]

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post by blackhawk   |  | This member has been banned. See the banlist for more information.

Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 8 on 3/30/2016 1:56 AM >

Cool site. A former military base; decommissioned. As long as you don't go digging the hazards are minimal. A super fund site since 98. The buildings will probably be razed. I'm surprised they're still standing.

"New homes built on the property were set to be available to tenants in the winter of 2014/2015.[5] The first residents began moving in in June 2015.[6]"

See it while you can. I would avoid exploring those buildings at night... Falls are always your worst hazard.




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post by RescueMe1060   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 9 on 3/30/2016 4:54 AM >

finally someone posted something interesting.


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post by pgathriller   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 10 on 3/30/2016 4:10 PM >

I'm definitely a supporter of wearing a mask while exploring buildings but a mask definitely won't protect you from radiation


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post by Agent Case   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 11 on 3/30/2016 4:59 PM >

Posted by pgathriller
I'm definitely a supporter of wearing a mask while exploring buildings but a mask definitely won't protect you from radiation


That's not exactly true! Alpha emitters (which are our biggest concern at this site) that might be in the dust are very unlikely to be strong enough on the gamma side to do harm through our skin and clothes. However, the inhalation hazard is what we are concerned about. Alpha on our skin is something we "just" wash off as contamination - Alpha we breathe, especially in a closed environment, will do severe damage once it is inside the body. Beta emitters are a concern, also, but considering what was there and the halflife deterioration, I don't think it's as much of an issue.
If I was going in the buildings I would have wore a paper suit and booties, and disposed of them in the hazardous materials bins when done.




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post by RescueMe1060   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 12 on 3/31/2016 12:29 AM >

I would without a doubt take all precautions necessary at this place. An explore is not worth a lifetime of health problems as you age. Great info provided in this thread though, no exaggerations and a bit of a history lesson. I look forward to more posts from you.


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post by Clostridium   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 13 on 4/1/2016 4:02 AM >

Welcome and congrats on a great writeup!

Impressive location-you seem to have spent a lot of time at the point, and spent your time researching it too. I am slightly surprised that there are still late 19th century brick structures there.

Seconding that alpha particles are bad, especially in a place like this. Glad you went there and not I .


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post by Landser   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 14 on 4/1/2016 6:33 AM >

Alpha particles have a weak radiation emission. A piece of paper can block the emissions and your outer layer of skin will too. Alpha particles will really only do damage if it gets inside your body from breathing it in or consuming it. A particulate respirator will be sufficient to filter out radioactive particles and keep alpha particle radiation from harming you. Beta particles and Gamma radiation are more dangerous......however much less common, especially gamma. Then you'll turn into like the Hulk or something.

Honestly a Tyvek suit, respirator, and Geiger counter will probably be enough safety equipment; you might even be just fine with a respirator.

Edit: additional information and typo correction

[last edit 4/1/2016 6:37 AM by Landser - edited 2 times]

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post by Evilbunny   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 15 on 4/1/2016 7:31 AM >

Posted by Landser
Alpha particles have a weak radiation emission. A piece of paper can block the emissions and your outer layer of skin will too. Alpha particles will really only do damage if it gets inside your body from breathing it in or consuming it. A particulate respirator will be sufficient to filter out radioactive particles and keep alpha particle radiation from harming you. Beta particles and Gamma radiation are more dangerous......however much less common, especially gamma. Then you'll turn into like the Hulk or something.

Honestly a Tyvek suit, respirator, and Geiger counter will probably be enough safety equipment; you might even be just fine with a respirator.

Edit: additional information and typo correction


The hulk? Not even mad sign me up.


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post by Landser   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 16 on 4/1/2016 9:09 AM >

Posted by Evilbunny


The hulk? Not even mad sign me up.


Let's go to the elephants foot. Lots of gamma radiation there for sure


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post by Agent Case   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 17 on 4/1/2016 4:15 PM >

Posted by Landser


Let's go to the elephants foot. Lots of gamma radiation there for sure


As someone who works with rad all the time, this is terrifying and awesome at the same time. The reason I carry a P100 rated filter is because a lot of the sites I go to have potential petrochemical contamination, too. Like the location of my next post.


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post by Landser   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 18 on 4/1/2016 4:23 PM >

Posted by Agent Case


As someone who works with rad all the time, this is terrifying and awesome at the same time. The reason I carry a P100 rated filter is because a lot of the sites I go to have potential petrochemical contamination, too. Like the location of my next post.


Something fascinates me about an object that will kill you just from being in the same room as it. And to make it better it's in the basement of an abandoned nuclear reactor! Maybe when I'm 106 years old and my wife is dead I'll go look at it.


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post by Landser   |  | 
Re: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
<Reply # 19 on 4/1/2016 4:32 PM >

Can't go wrong with P1000 filter. That's what I use too..better safe than sorry.


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